Thursday, July 15, 2010

Alot of mudslides ( not the drink!)

Our first group arrived on Saturday July 3rd. That morning before the group arrived we watched the Argentina Germany game and then Theresa, Ryan and I went to a little park by our hotel to outside and read. I have been blessed with wonderful friends who sent me letters for each day. This day was Alyssa's day. I love that girl. The following are some of her encouraging scriptures: Eph. 6:7, Phil. 2:14, and 2 Cor. 12:9-10. Also Bec challenged me to memorize Ps. 67. It was a great morning preparing for the group spiritually and spending some good alone time with God before the group arrived.

Happy 4th of July!!!! Sunday we went to a church named Real Vida. It was awesome. All their songs were Hillsong and the preacher was great. I was sitting there and I noticed a red headed girl sitting 5 rows in front of me. I thought to myself, "Hum, that looks like the back of Rebecca Griggs head." Then I looked and noticed Daniel and Ms. Ruth! How crazy is that, that out of all the churches in Guate to go to, we went to the same church. It was very encouraging to see them one more time! Our group went to Antigua for the day. It is the colonial area of Guate and is surrounded by volcanoes. We went to the market, ate at Monoloco and then headed home.

First Baptist Naples wearing monkey masks at Monoloco.

Monday was our first day in the village. It took us about 2 hours to get there and 2 hours to get home each day. And it rained everyday! Right now about 100 children attend the one room school house. Our purpose in the village was to dig trenches and lay a foundation for an addition to the school house but God had bigger plans for us. Since there was not enough tools for everyone, we also played with the children and split into teams to go door to door in the village. It was great! The children are so precious and so hungry for love and attention.

Tuesday I started to memorize Col 4:2-6 and thought about these verses through out the week. It says,
"Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. And pray for us too that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains. Pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should. Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders: making the most out of every opportunity. Let your conversation always be full of grace, so that you may know how to answer everyone."

Some of my favorite little rascals. I wanted to take a picture of them and they wouldnt let me. When they finally turned around, this is what they did.

Wednesday was awesome! My favorite day of the trip so far. We finished the trenches and everyone was playing with the kids. I was playing with some kids and a little girl named Norma came up to me and asked my for a Bible. I got her one and sat down to share the gospel with her. I asked her questions and shared that gospel with her and she knew all the right answers. She was already a believer so I asked her if she knew the story of creation. By this time a group of kids had gathered around to listen. I went on to tell them about Jesus' birth, death and resurrection. All the kids had heard the gospel presentation already so most of them had already prayed to receive Christ. The kids went to go play but this one boy named Adian stayed. I told him the story of the little boy with two fish and 5 pieces of bread. He wasn't ever looking at me while I told the story. He was watching all the children play. I just knew that he wasn't paying any attention to me so I started to ask him question about the story. He knew exactly what the story was about. He probably would have sat there all day and listened to me tell Bible stories.
The kids came back over to where I was sitting. I gave them silly bands, taught them father Abraham and then videoed them. They loved watching the videos of themselves.

It started to rain so we all loaded up and got on the buses. The dirt roads were really muddy and there was a huge hill we had to get up. I was on the first bus. We tried to go up the hill but got stuck halfway up it. All the boys got out to push and all the girls went to the back of the bus and jumped up and down to give the back tires traction. We made it up after a couple tries but the truck and other van still had to come up. I just sat in my seat and prayed! Miraculously, we all made it up the hill.

Back on Tuesday the groups that went to the village witness to some ladies, gave them a Bible, and told them same passages to read. Then the next day our team would come back and discuss the passages with them. They were so hungry for God's word, just like the little boy Adian who listened to me tell Bible stories. This was a huge wake up call for me. When was the last time I spent more than an hour reading the Bible or praying or memorizing scripture. And when was the last time I resisted the Holy spirit telling me to go share Christ with them. Its time to step up! I read Psalm 6 and I want this to be my daily prayer! I want this passion to be the passion I have to see non believers accept Christ. I encourage you to read David's cry to God in Psalm 6 and try to think of the last time you felt this way, or if you have ever felt this way.

Peace and Blessings!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

O what a beautiful morning, o what a beautiful day.

This morning was my first time to see the sun in Guate. It is "winter" here, which means it is the rainy season. It is normally always overcast but the temperature is perfect- mid 70s. This morning I was encouraged by Isaiah 61:1-4.
v.1 The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the broken hearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners.
When I read this passage I keep in mind Ephesians 1:18-20 which says we have inherited an incomprehensible great power for us who believe, the power that raised Christ from the dead. Think about that for a minute, the same power that raised Christ from the dead is in us! The only way I can proclaim the good news to the guatemalans is to fully rely on the Holy Spirit and his power in me.
Isaiah 61:3 says to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes and Isaiah 61:4 says they will rebuild the ancient ruins and renew the cities.
There is ash all along the streets and the mudslides have destroyed towns.
Isaiah 61 is the perfect passage for Guate at this time and it is my prayer for Guate. At the end of the day when I am tired and I really want to complain, my prayer will be Isaiah 61:10, which says, "I delight greatly in the Lord; my soul rejoices in my God. For he has clothed me with garments of salvation and arrayed me in a robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom adorns his head like a priest, and as a bride adorns herself with jewels."
We met with Efrain for breakfast to schedule next week. He works for Feed the Children. Then we went with Efrain and Jake (Efrain's co-worker) to the village that we will be working in. It is an hour drive but it is beautiful!

And adventurous due to the steep gravel roads up the mountain. Fun fact: Guatemala city has an elevation of about 4500 feet and the villages surrounding the city have an even higher elevation.

It is cheaper to ride on top.

We will be preparing the foundation for a room that is being added onto the school. There are 100 students that attend the one room school house. We will also feed the children a mid-morning meal. I am excited to meet them and build relationships with them! The village people are very lost. I only saw two catholic churches and Efrain said that most people do not have the catholic bible. And even if they did, most of them can not read. We will be in the village to do construction but I will take every opportunity to talk to people about Jesus. It breaks my heart that most of them probably have never heard the gospel. Please pray that their hearts will be open.
We went to Pollo Campero for lunch. I ate a chicken sandwich with black beans and guacamole on it. Its was different but tasty! Tonight for dinner we are going with Efrain to a steakhouse. I am very blessed to be in a city with good cheap food.
Our first group will arrive on Saturday from Naples, FL and they have about 40 people in their group. Until then, Theresa, Ryan and I will be making preparations for them and by making sure we have water, materials for the foundation of the school, meals, etc.

Thank you so much for your prayers! Check back later to see how God is working in Guate!